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<   No. 2219   2009-02-22   >

Comic #2219

1 Quercus: My species has a legend about the creation and structure of the universe.
2 Paris: Does it involve a great World Tree spanning all parts of time and space, with branches supporting an infinitude of worlds?
3 Paris: And with roots extending into mystical realms such as the afterlife, where we may find them and climb our way back to the material world?
4 Quercus: No. It involves quantum fluctuations and vacuum energy expansion in a general relativistic framework.

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Many cultures have myths about great world trees.

Yggdrasil, of Norse mythology, is probably the best known today.

Oddly, not many ancient cultures had myths about quantum fluctuations or vacuum energy.

2021-10-31 Rerun commentary: One thing that modern pseudoscience advocates like to do is to take ancient mystical beliefs and try to shoehorn them into fitting in with theories from modern physics. For example, perhaps taking a World Tree myth and saying it's a parallel with string theory, and therefore the ancients somehow had some knowledge of string theory.

If you take this approach, then it's a little weird that ancient cultures didn't invent nuclear power and spaceflight and lasers and stuff thousands of years ago.

Or did they?

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